FOR LOURDES “CHIT” ESTELLA-SIMBULAN

Last Friday the 13t one of the better journalism profs I have ever had died in a car accident, involving a Universal Guiding Star bus and the cab she was riding in, along Commonwealth Avenue. She was a great professor, a respected journalist, and a beloved wife.

I don’t really know how to write eulogies. I don’t really know how to write. So the night after I went to her wake, I revisited some of the articles I made for her class and looked at the comments she wrote on my papers to gain insight on how I should do this post.

Good choice of topic.

Lourdes “Chit” Estella-Simbulan was my professor in J102 (News Writing) and J111 (Feature Writing). She was a respected desk editor, managing editor, investigative journalist, and a UP professor. She was 54.

Lead is not particularly strong but well supported by details.

If there is one thing I will never forget about Maam Simbulan, it was her generous smile. She always smiled. Whether you just pass by her in the hallway or when she gently points out all the negative points of your article in front of the whole class, she always has a smile on. She was very motherly. I would remember my very first day in our J102 class, she was among the very few people who was able to read my name right the first time. I remember her loose tops she would pair with jeans or slacks. Her glasses that would kinda glisten every time she sees me chatting with someone during class. Her jogging outfit paired with a sling bag that she would don every afternoon. I remember her though I’m not sure she still remembers me after our classes.

Material still too thin to work on, although time constraint may have been a good reason for this.

As a journalist Maam Simbulan has contributed to society more than most people I know. Imagine if she is still alive. She can contribute even more. She can still hone minds to follow in her footsteps. It just angers me that morons continue to roam the earth while lives that can, and have, made significant contributions are wasted. It saddens me that I could have known her a bit better, could have learned a bit more.

Good use of contrasts throughout the article.

She always had a negative comment in my articles. But for every negative comment, she was sure to add a positive one at the very end. She was appreciative. She was the only professor I had who gave plus points if you have an image to accompany your article. She knew how to appreciate the efforts her students gave. But she was a fierce editor. Beneath those smiles, she can nitpick every error you may have committed in writing. She was a brave journalist, never unwavering in her principles. All these she did with a smile on her face.

Be mindful of the need for commas.

Sadly Maam Simbulan’s life has already reached a period. No more commas for her. But if it were up to me, I would place an ellipsis in the place of that period. Because even in death she was able to bring light on an issue that plagues our nation: the continued failure to address the safety of our major thoroughfares.

Last sentence doesn’t really succeed in tying up the article. Too safe.

Goodbye Maam Simbulan.

By the time I post this, you would have turned into ashes already. But I will always remember you along with the knowledge and wisdom you have shared with me. Just like most of the articles I have written for your class, I will end this abruptly.

Because I just don’t know how to tie up a life as beautiful as the one you lived.

Lourdes Chit Estella Simbulan

From Verafiles.org

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TWO DAYS FOR SIX YEARS

With the coming of the sembreak I was able to face one of the more pressing issues in life today, registering for the upcoming 2010 elections.

If it was up to me I would gladly sacrifice my right of suffrage just to escape the hellish line of registration. But it’s not just up to me, I owe it to the rest of the Filipino people. Now having the passion to be registered for the sake of my country’s wellbeing is quite different from braving the actual registration process.

After 19 hours stretched over a span of three days of waiting in line that could have encircled the world over twice, I was finally able to get that coveted step of registration: the biometrics.

Believe it or not I actually started registration back in summer when the Comelec (Commission on Elections) setup a satellite registration venue at our village. The first six hours of my labor was spent just on getting the actual registration form and having my name validated and so on. I was rescheduled for my biometrics on July, but being the student that I am, I wasn’t able to come since the day was in conflict with my class schedule.

Come sembreak I was finally able to fall in line at the city hall for my biometrics. But after ten hours of waiting I was yet again rescheduled. Thankfully my dad came with me that day, and thankfully a sort of uprising happened among the other people in line. When 5pm came only 400 people will be accepted, the guards made the mistake of giving people false hopes, so when the guard closed the gates at around 7 (the reg was supposed to be closed by 9), people became restless and started shouting and mobbing the gate. Thankfully my dad was among those who calmed down the people by speaking with the head honcho and asking him to device a system that will enable those rescheduled for the next day (such as myself) to be assured of a different and separate line with a biometric machine all to ourselves.

The next day, arriving at around seven in the morning, I was shocked to see a single line twice as long as the line I had the day before. And it was only seven! So my dad yet again spoke with the head honcho and only then and there did they put into action the system my dad suggested.

Two lines instead of a single snaking hell line were implemented. One for the people who were in line the day before and rescheduled for today, the other was for the new souls set to suffer in limbo. The system worked, as the office was able to accommodate the two batches at the same time without raising the ire of any party. And so my dad was the hero for the day.

After three hours of waiting I finally got my biometric scan and all, and am now a proud registered voter. After all that grueling physical, mental, psychological trauma, I was finally able to be free of that line. It was so long you could have met someone while in line, built a relationship with that person, fought with the person, and have a clean break-up, all while in line.

Now that I’m free of the registration, it is time to assure the freedom of the Filipino people for the next six years by making the right choice come Election Day in 2010.